AVG Antivirus: History, Features, & Controversies

AVG Antivirus: History, Features, & Controversies

AVG Antivirus is a widely popular range of Antivirus software developed by its parent company AVG Technologies. It is one of the many excellent cybersecurity companies working to keep you and your devices & information safe from malware, spyware, etc. AVG Antivirus helps you in providing all-around security to your online life and data. You download the free version of AVG Antivirus and also the premium one to get unlimited benefits.

History

Grisoft's initial product, Anti-Virus Guard, was the main reason behind the brand AVG's origin. Grisoft released Antivirus-Guard in 1992 in the Czech Republic. In 1997, AVG started selling its licenses in Germany and the UK. Later in the year 1998, AVG was introduced in the US.

The AVG Free version gave strength to the roots of the company in the cybersecurity market. In 2006, the AVG security package evolved to add the anti-spyware features as AVG Technologies acquired Ewido Networks, an anti-spyware group. In December 2007, AVG Technologies acquired Exploit Prevention Labs and incorporated its LinkScanner secure search and surf technology into the version AVG 8.0. Security product range released in March 2008. 

In January 2009, AVG Technologies acquired Sana Security, which developed an identity theft protection tool. This tool was incorporated into the AVG security product range in March 2009.

According to AVG Technologies, the company has more than 200 million active policies globally, out of which 100 million users are using their AVG products and services on smartphones. On 7 July 2016, Avast announced that it would acquire AVG for 1.3 $billion.

Online Assistance

AVG freemium products: AVG antivirus is free for Windows, Mac, and Android. You can download, install, update, and use any of these products for free, but the premium plan is required for the Online Assistance.

AVG stopped offering new features for Windows XP and Windows Vista in January 2019. The latest editions need Windows 7 or later; virus definitions are still provided for previous editions.

Line of Features

AVG comprises almost every function available in modern antivirus and Internet security applications, along with periodic scans, scans of sent and received emails, the strength to repair some virus-infected files, and a quarantine area where all these infected files are stored.

LinkScanner Feature

AVG took the patent-pending LinkScanner technology from a company Exploit Prevention Labs it built into most AVG products, provides real-time updated security against exploits and drive-by downloads. LinkScanner includes: Search-Shield helps you avoid malicious sites by safely placing the safety ratings next to each of the links provided in the search results on popular browsers like Google, Yahoo!, and MSN. The Active Surf-Shield is also there to help you in scanning the contents of a website in real-time to make sure that the platform is safe for surfing or not. Web Analytics has reported few concerns with the LinkScanner component.

Unusual Reports concerning LinkScanner

When AVG 8.0 was launched, its LinkScanner safe search feature was reported as the reason behind the increment in the traffic over the websites coming on the top of the search results pages. Since LinkScanner changes the scans' appearance, which comes from an Internet Explorer 6 browser while it performs the prescans for each site in the search results list.

The prescan process for each link in the search result list also caused the overflow of data transferred from the websites in an unusual manner, resulting in the high usage of bandwidth for website operators and poor performance for users. AVG at first said, "site admins would have the authority to filter the LinkScanner traffic from the complete site statistics, leaving the issue of more than enough use of the bandwidth still unsolved.

The feature AVG Online Shield is designed to inspect files and ensure that all of them are secure. AVG Online Shield also makes sure the protection of transferring files through instant messaging apps and VoIP customers.

To answer all the complaints, AVG announced that on 9 July 2008, "Search-Shield won't scan each search result online for new exploits from now, which was the reason behind the spikes that webmasters informed with our representatives," launching a new build on that date that applies a local blocking system, then prefetches and scans only the links that the user clicks.

AVG: Controversies

Install Without Consent

Till 2014, there were many reports encountered stating the AVG SafeGuard Toolbar starts the installation by itself. As there was no action in which the software asked for the user's consent, mostly it happened due to installing random apps. The toolbar program seems to be the reason behind the crucial RAM problems and could be considered a busy, potentially unwanted program or PUP. 

As soon the application gets installed, The AVG toolbar becomes tough to eliminate. The toolbar uninstalled becomes unable to function correctly; besides this, reinstalling the add-on in case removal has been done by a manual process. The consequences of numerous discussions and article submissions have explained the complicated processes for eliminating the AVG toolbar, each having a blend of outcomes.

The Hidden Spyware

In September month of 2015, AVG announced that the company would begin to keep track of its users to earn more profits by conducting a sharp analysis of their information for selling to the ad industries on huge prices. This announcement received a lot of criticism from the users, the news, and the security industry; most of the users intended to use the software to protect themselves from spyware without any hint that spyware is available in the software itself.

Exposing Chrome History

In December of 2015, the Anti-Virus Guard Web TuneUp Google Chrome extension doesn't require any consent of yours to install and facilitates the installation by itself when AVG antivirus is installed. That AVG Web TuneUp extension reported containing several critical safety issues. Most importantly, Chrome users' browsing history was on the verge of exposure to malicious sites. The cookies from any of the sites the user has gone through could be in the reach of hackers and trivial cross-site scripting(XSS) problems. It could make way for other websites for executing arbitrary code.

Conclusion:

The above-given information in this article will help you in solving all your queries related to the History, features, and controversies related to the AVG Antivirus. You can go through the article and can get complete knowledge of how AVG became a recognized Antivirus software.

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